Farscape 1.1 – Premiere

I used to make it a habit of at least checking out an episode or two of as many TV shows as I could, just to say I’d seen them. Farscape, which premiered in the US in the spring of 1999, completely escaped my attention, probably for more than a year. It wasn’t until January of 2001 before I saw an episode. It was the first act of a three-parter called “Liars, Guns, and Money.” I was thrown in at the deep end, blown completely away, told everybody it was the damnedest thing I’d seen on TV in ages, and never looked at it again, because my life was too chaotic for anything new to watch.

A couple of decades later, and here we are at last, finding time. Farscape was created by Rockne S. O’Bannon, who had a really crazy amount of information to juggle in the initial one-hour pilot. It’s an incredibly clunky pilot, full of sci-fi militarese for the bad guys (“But sir, regulations state–” “That’s an order, lieutenant!”) and they could have spent a few more seconds on Aeryn getting her neck in the noose for possible “contamination” with an unknown life form for it to make sense, but it looks terrific and it’s easy enough to follow. Ben Browder plays an astronaut who gets wormhole-dumped someplace very, very far away, full of people who he can’t yet trust, probably one or two he never should. He lands on a living ship just as it’s being stolen by some escaped convicts. Soon they are five – or I guess six, since the pilot of the ship is sentient, albeit stationary – and they’re all on the run.

I gave our son the briefest of rundowns – not much more than I know myself – and he enjoyed the heck out of it. Lots of sci-fi action, weird aliens, lasers, general craziness. It’s right up his alley so far.

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